Imagine operating an S&P 500-sized public company and telling some of your most promising customers that you can’t sell them what they want unless they’re willing to wait at least three to five years. In some instances, the delay could last up to a decade.
Those consumers would most likely find someone else to give their money to.
According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, this is the current state of significant electric utilities across the United States. Electric utilities appear to be among the corporations most eager to embrace the electric transition. However, they appear to be among the most hesitant.
The problem is especially pressing in California, where fossil fuel vehicles will be phased out over the next two decades. The majority of replacements will be electric, so utilities should anticipate an increase in demand, which most businesses would embrace.
Currently, utilities are likely pleased to sell a few additional kilowatt-hours. There are not yet enough EV owners to warrant substantial new investment. And, where available, the majority of EV owners time their charging sessions to take advantage of utilities’ discounted rates.
In addition, a plethora of startups, such as WeaveGrid, have emerged to assist utilities in smoothing out some of the surges that can occur when too many EVs are plugged in at the same time.
However, as more vehicles are hooked up and zero-emissions deadlines approach, it is evident that many utilities are unprepared for the future.